How to Write a Press Release
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Have you recently published a book? Been accepted into a prestigious program or school? Are you about to release a new product or service?
Press releases are written statements to the media to announce a wide range of items. Many people send a press release to the media in hopes that a reporter will consider writing a feature story. It’s a great way to promote your business and your accomplishments.
Here are some things to keep in mind when writing a press release:
1. Write a headline.
The headline should be short and concise – a short sentence highlighting the main point of the press release. Many PR professionals suggest writing the title after the body of the press release is written. This way you are sure to nail down the main points and write a better headline. Your headline may or may not be used as the actual headline for the article but write it like it will be used.
2. Write the body.
You will want to write the press release just as if you are writing the news story its self. Keep in mind that what you write will often appear in the article the journalist writes so be sure to include all important information as you want it to appear. Chances are the journalist won’t have time to do tons of research about your accomplishment so be sure he or she has all of the details.
- Date and city where the release originates.
- Lead sentence. The lead sentence should grab the readers attention and tell what the release is about.
- Clear and concise. Don’t use very large words or repeat words in your body. Keep to shorter sentences and paragraphs.
- The first paragraph of two or three sentences should tell what the press release is about and then the rest of the content will elaborate on the first paragraph.
- Stick to the news and answer the basic questions; who, what, when, where, why, and how.
3. Check it over.
Look over your press release and make sure you communicated the who, what, when, where, why, and how clearly. Make sure the press release contains all of the information that the journalist or reader needs to know.
4. Clean it up.
Make sure your press release is as ready as possible for print. Also keep in mind that an editor or journalist may have half a dozen similar press releases on his/her desk. What makes your stand out? What makes yours look like NEWS. Make sure your press release requires little to no effort on their part to be ready for printing.
5. Tie it all up.
Do you have more information to share? Is there more information about the company or yourself that you can share?
- Store or company address
- Social media – twitter user name, facebook page name etc
- Your contact information should a reporter need to ask follow-up questions
- Did you put the press release on your own website? Share that link
6. The end.
It is a practice in journalism to end a press release with “###”. Place the series of three pound signs immediately under the last line of your press release in the center to signal the end of the document.
This is a general outline for writing a press release but the internet is full of free examples and guidelines so be sure to do a little research before sending out your press releases. You’ll want to be sure that your press release has the best chance to reach the best audience.
Have you ever written a press release? Did you get an article published because of it?
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